The Oculus Rift was made available to pre-order from a number of retailers including Amazon.co.uk, John Lewis, Curry’s PC World, GAME Digital Plc and Harrods in the middle of August. To use the Rift, you need to either own or buy a high-end PC to enjoy a vast collection of 360-degree movies and videos and hundreds of VR games.
Oculus Rift comes with a light frame, a headset with OLED display and attached headphones with 3D audio and features 360-degree head tracking and expanded positional tracking capabilities. The Rift also supports augmented and virtual reality in all light conditions, indoors or outdoors. Also included are finger tracking capabilities on the Rift's Touch controllers. This may apply to gestures like pointing, making a finger gun and the quintessential thumbs up.
Oculus Rift's lighter weight as well as better ergonomics of the gadget ensures that you won't have to hold the gadget with your hands while running it. The Rift comes with the popular VR platformer Lucky’s Tale as well as hundreds of free 3D 360 videos, VR movies and games which you will be able to view and download on the Oculus Store. You will also be able to experience demo titles like The Climb, an award winning thrill-seeking VR game, henry, Farlands and Oculus Dreamdeck.
While Mac users will not be able to use the Rift as it isn't compatible with Macs' configurations, if you're really keen on enjoying an out-of-the-world VR experience, you can choose from a number of high-end PCs like Alienware 13, 15 and 17 and Alpha, ASUS G11CD and ROG G20CB desktops with NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards, Dell XPS 8900 Special Edition and Lenovo's Ideacentre Y700 featuring the latest Intel® Core™ i Series processors and NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX graphics. Basically, the Rift will work with PCs with GPUs like Nvidia GeForce 970 or AMD Radeon 290 which support frame rate of 90 fps and are capable of running VR software like the one in the Oculus Rift. The price of the Rift as well as a compatible PC may push the total cost to as much as £1300.
In comparison, HTC Vive costs around £689 and does require high-end PC hardware to run but it's RAM requirement is around half as much at 4GB. The basic stuff a PC must have to support the Vive include CPUs like Intel i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 and GPUs like Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 and AMD Radeon R9 290. Overall, the lower RAM requirement may push the overall cost down a bit, especially if you get custom-made ones, and the final cost could be around the same as that of the Oculus Rift.
You can either buy an Oculus Rift headset online at amazon.co.uk or from brick and mortar stores like John Lewis, Curry’s PC World, GAME Digital Plc., London department store and Harrods. Oculus announced demo experiences with the Rift for those who wanted to try it out last month with titles like The Climb – every thrill-seeker’s favourite, Henry – a heart-warming VR film, narrated by Elijah Wood, Farlands – an exotic planetary experience and Oculus Dreamdeck – the perfect introduction to VR. Thankfully, the demo experiences are still available and if you would like to try one out, you can schedule your own session at any of the retailers' locations via the Oculus Live app.